How you answer your customer services calls is important. The state of your call center often determines customer experience and customer retention. Call centers are usually the first resource customers reach for when they have questions, comments, and concerns about your product or services, so it is vital that customers feel heard and understood. A good customer support system can not only keep current customers happy, it can bring in new customers as well.
Here are a few tips and tricks from call center professionals that will help your company elevate customer service calls and take customer support protocol to the next level. When your customers are happy, your business can succeed.
Make Your Customers a Top Priority
When you make your customers a top priority, they can sense it. There are a few things you can do in your call centers to let your customers know they are a top priority. When a call comes in, make it a goal to never let the phone ring more than three times. Promptly answering the phone sends a good message to a customer who may be frustrated. When you answer the call, be as personal as possible and go out of your way to make every customer feel like they are the most important person you will talk to all day. A little bit of kindness goes a long way.
Put a Positive Spin on It
When you answer the phone consider sharing a piece of good news about the company as you introduce yourself. This is a good moment to set a positive tone and outlook for the conversation and highlight your business. Try something like “Thank you for calling Penny’s Plants, winner of California’s Go Green Award, this is Sophie, how may I help you today?” or “Thank you for calling Andrew’s Bike Shop, proud sponsor of Habitat for Humanity, this is Jack how may I assist you today?”
Communication is Key
There is so much more to communication than the words you speak. Tone of voice, response time, and overall formality communicate just as much to the customer as your words do. As a customer support expert, make sure that you are communicating the message your company wants through your tone and response time. As an employer, set a clear expectation with your employees and let them know how formal or informal the calls should be, and what overall tone you want to set.
Skip the Slang
Sometimes when you get to know a company really well, you pick up on office slang and jargon. Around the office, you may refer to your products by shortened names or perhaps your office uses acronyms to keep things simple. When you are on the phone with a customer, always avoid using office slang or jargon that they may not be familiar with. It can add a frustrating element to the conversation when you and the caller are not referring to the products by the same name.
When In Doubt, Source it Out
If you find that your business is not equipped to meet your call center needs, consider outsourcing and using an outside professional firm. Entrust your customers to the care of customer support experts when you use an outside firm for your customer service needs. For startups that don’t have the resources to have a full-scale call center or for companies who have limited customer support needs, outsourcing may be a great option.
As you refine your call center protocol, your customers will feel the difference. As you implement changes in your customer service centers, make sure to always set clear expectations with employees and allow them the opportunity to practice calls with supervisors or managers. When your customer service team works as a cohesive unit, good things happen for your customers.